ABOUT the ILLINI UNION
WE ARE PART OF STUDENT AFFAIRS AT ILLINOIS
The Illini Union is a part of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois. From outside the classroom learning experiences, to physical and emotional wellness, leadership opportunities, global awareness, safety, fun, and career preparation, Student Affairs supports all aspects of student life at Illinois.
The Illini Union enriches students’ academic experience by building an inclusive community and providing growth and developmental opportunities through engaging programs, outstanding services, and purposeful employment.
The Illini Union will bring people together to create an inspiring, innovative, and caring community.
Our values serve as a compass and describe how we behave every day.
- Community: We value community and continually work to strengthen our ties to the University and the surrounding community through active citizenship, service, traditions, teamwork, and collaboration.
- Student Centeredness and Learning: We value students and their voice as they are central to our mission. Our work is guided by a commitment to their holistic development and learning.
- Leadership: We value the opportunity to lead from every level of the organization and create innovative programs and services. We recognize that each employee can inspire and motivate others and serve as a catalyst for change. We are accountable and take responsibility for our decisions and actions.
- Excellence: We set high expectations and develop distinctive and quality programs and services through innovation and continuous improvement.
- Diversity and Inclusion: We value the uniqueness of people and individual perspectives. We embrace and celebrate one another’s differences, talents, and abilities. We cultivate an inclusive environment by considering all dimensions of diversity, and we help prepare our campus community for life in a multi-cultural society.
- Integrity: We value being honest and ethical and exemplifying behavior that can be modeled by all. We maintain open and transparent decision-making at all levels of our organization.
- Traditions: We value our position as the center of campus life – physically, socially, and culturally. We recognize that every member of our Illinois family has an Illini Union story to tell. Through these stories we help preserve the rich traditions and legacy that current and former Illini have created.
- Collaboration: We value cooperating and partnering with others to strengthen our efforts to serve the university and our surrounding community.
Areas of Distinction
More than an iconic building at Illinois, the Illini Union is a comprehensive collection of programs and services that brings together people, ideas and perspectives. It serves as a unifying force for members of the campus community who come together to learn, teach, eat, relax, play, and make new friends.
- We are the community center of the campus, providing a welcoming environment for all to enjoy.
- We create a unique sense of place and identity.
- We provide numerous resources for students in support of their academic success.
- We celebrate diversity and inclusiveness and promote social justice.
- We offer an outstanding hotel experience and event service centrally located on the main Quad.
- We value shared governance and involve students in our decision-making processes.
- We advocate for and encourage free speech and freedom of association.
- We actively promote student involvement and engagement on campus.
- We are a dynamic organization that reinvests funds into programs and does not rely primarily on student fees.
- We provide a purposeful student employment experience throughout the organization.
- We offer engaging programs and activities for students, faculty, staff, families, parents, and the campus community at large.
The wood detailing hasn't lost its luster and the cupola reflects the sunlight as brightly as the day it opened on February 8, 1941. Since its inception, the Illini Union has been a resource to the entire campus community. Even before he was officially inducted as president in 1934, A. C. Willard publicly supported the development of a headquarters for students, faculty and staff to use for both social and professional purposes.
- From 1919 to 1921, the main floor of the YMCA (now Illini Hall) was the Illini Union headquarters
- Construction plans began in 1939 by architects Howard Lovewell and John Calvin Leavell
- The building was designed in the shape of an "I" to honor the university
- The cupola was chosen as the building's focal point due to the Colonial Williamsburg-inspired decor
- Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the building in 1942
- An addition was built in 1963 to accommodate the additional services offered to the growing enrollment
To this day, the Illini Union staff makes it a priority to offer a home rich in the university’s historical traditions. Attention to the preservation of the building has been a significant responsibility over the years, and the staff of the Illini Union works to provide guidance, support, and encouragement to all who utilize it. The Illini Union continues to thrive as a reflection of the vibrant student body here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Illini Union History and Renovation Feasibility
The Illini Union celebrated 80 years in 2021. This microsite celebrates its history. It also details the exploration of the feasibility of an Illini Union renovation and expansion project.
Illini Union Assessments
Results from Illini Union led assessment initiatives, telling the story of the Illini Union to the university community. We hope this section helps inform students, faculty, staff, and the public about the work we do at the Illini Union, what people receive from being involved with the Illini Union, and help add to the transparency of the university.
Illini Union Customer Satisfaction 2016-17 Report (SkyFactor survey)
Illini Union Satisfaction Analysis 2013-2016 (results from national EBI survey)